Newsletter Summer 2021
Happy Independence Day!
As Americans individually and collectively celebrate the signing of the Declaration of Independence and the 245th birthday of this country, it might be worthwhile to remember that this is not an event that simply happened by accident. American colonists were responding to prevailing political and economic circumstances of their time, and only after a great amount of debate and deliberation did they decide to execute a plan and secure their future as an independent nation.
Doubtlessly many thought, "We can't afford this!" or "Is this really a good time to make such a significant change," but they "screwed their courage to the sticking place" as Shakespeare suggested in Macbeth, and they ultimately realized success for themselves and future generations, most likely beyond their wildest dreams.
Of course, there were setbacks and sacrifices, as there still are today, which suggests that these are more a part of life to be expected in every endeavor, rather than specifically a part of any single goal that one may pursue. As the American poet Robert Frost once observed, "Freedom lies in being bold."
The PJ Team would like to wish everyone a Happy Fourth of July and a bold and independent future.
And if your future financial independence is something that has you considering buying a new home, selling a property you currently own, or learning more about real estate investing, please call us to start a conversation that could lead to your own celebration with fireworks!
Enjoy the Summer, But Plan for Winter
With a record heat wave taking place and sunsets that still extend until after 8:30 p.m., it may seem counter-intuitive to think about the coming Fall or Winter. However, there's a reason that many sad souls will arrive late and unprepared to the many already-anticipated future events on everyone's calendar from now until the end of the year: Labor Day, Halloween, Thanksgiving, and Christmas to name an obvious few.
We've all heard the well-worn adage that, "people don't plan to fail, they just too often fail to plan." Let's face it, none of the Olympic competitors this year will arrive in Tokyo by accident, on a whim or by virtue of an impulsive decision. Likewise, few are the homes, businesses or commercial properties that will be bought or sold this year on the basis of, "Hey I have an idea!"
As in all other successful major endeavors in life there will be hours of discussion, points of critical decision making, progress assessments, course corrections, and consulting experts for innovative problem solving in order to keep potential deals alive and on track. Many will succeed, but unfortunately many will fail, primarily due to a lack of appreciation for the complexity and difficulty one can encounter while trying to improve one's future financial wellbeing.
There's a reason that Realtors® involve an entire team of professionals when assisting clients with the purchase of a new home or business. Mortgage professionals, title professionals, home inspectors, pest inspectors and even septic and well inspectors, surveyors and/ or engineers may be needed to help inform the parties involved, as to whether a deal can move forward or whether a reconsideration of terms and possible concessions may be needed. All of these information providers usually require time and multiple decision making points to bring an inspired idea and future sale or purchase to fruition.
So if you would like to celebrate Thanksgiving or Christmas in a new home this year, or start the New Year with a new location for your business, you probably need to talk with a professional Realtor® soon. As it turns out, the hours of daylight are currently getting shorter and yes... Winter is coming.
COVID-19 in the Summer of 2021: Is It Safe to Come Out and Play?
With larger and larger numbers of people returning to many of their pre-COVID habits, such as meeting friends, family, or colleagues outside (and inside) without masks for business or pleasure, it's natural to retain a certain amount of anxiety found in the uncertainty of it all. The simple truth is that many people were at risk of many health-related issues before COVID, during COVID, and will remain at risk after COVID.
My father's oncologist once told him regarding his prostate cancer, "You are going to die with this cancer. Our job is to reduce your chances of your dying from it."
Even during the height of the initial lockdowns, Virginia Realtors® were considered "essential workers." While many of my colleagues continued to provide in-person property showings many did not. As the vaccines became more widely distributed, many Realtors,® buyers, and sellers returned cautiously to holding and attending Open Houses and in-person closings.
Still, there is an unspoken concern in the air that the Fall and Winter may bring either a resurgence of the virus or a newly mutated strain. For those who are blessed with a sense of invulnerability or believe themselves immortal, there will be little chance of educated caution, and for those on the other end of the spectrum there will be little that can convince them that life was ever or ever will be "safe." However, for the majority of us, optimistic caution seems to be the watchword. Most folks I know have not yet thrown caution to the wind or thrown out their supply of hand sanitizer. Most still have a supply of masks, either disposable or reusable still within reach, and they still use them when entering businesses that require them.
In short, continuing to follow CDC guidelines on this and all other public health-related issues (as I believe most people did prior to the arrival of COVID-19) makes perfect sense. While many of us tend to think of the issues of risk and safety as they relate to ourselves and those who are near and dear, the population that has been and will be most affected by this pandemic are those who were and remain immune-compromised, such as the frail, the aged, the very young and those struggling with chronic illnesses.
As a society and especially as a local community, we know that too many will continue to die while COVID remains in our midst. As we attempt to achieve something approaching "normal" or the "new normal" we at the PJ Team take whatever evolving precautions are needed to make certain that we are protecting our sellers and buyers from it.
Just How Hot Is the Market (And How Long Will It Last)?
A colleague, and fellow Realtor,® sold her family home recently. It sold quite quickly, leaving them without a permanent residence, while they searched for a new home to purchase with the proceeds from their sale. So, she rented a townhouse and began her home search.
Remember that I said she is Realtor, and therefore, had a slight advantage over other home buyers, since knowing the neighborhoods, knowing the market, and helping others buy and sell homes is something she has been doing for a while now. She still had to contend with the competitive nature of the current market, still had to hustle to see homes before they were quickly gone, and still had to craft a potentially winning offer, only to have a number of disappointments before eventually succeeding.
In a hot market, the dance is the same, it's just a little quicker. Think salsa as compared to waltz.
In the Northern Virginia, D.C., and Maryland area some markets are hotter than others. It's possible that similar homes located near one another could experience drastically different "days on market" and eventually sell for significantly different prices. Issues such as timing, home preparation, school districts, and updates can all influence the seller and buyer experience and outcome.
The colleague I mentioned lost one home on the day it was listed to a buyer who paid 50% over the asking price. Many will say that the property was clearly underpriced, perhaps in the hope of attracting multiple competitive offers, but in the current market, multiple competitive offers are extremely common, though certainly not guaranteed. The point is that, generally, there are more buyers than there are homes, so competition and rising prices are par for the course. Still, most buyers seem to understand that the low-interest rates may make it more than a little advantageous to buy now, even in a market as competitive as this one.
So, for now, the competition continues. How long will the current circumstances last? It's difficult to say. What we can say with relative certainty is that up until now, nothing has lasted forever. We can also say that, with more people being vaccinated and COVID seemingly on the run, more homes are being listed for sale which should take some pressure off the market, but how quickly – we don’t know.
If you would like to investigate the steps involved in homeownership or receive a free expert estimate of your home's current market value call today and let us answer your questions. When it comes to competition, the PJ Team is both experienced and ready.
Regional Real Estate Stats from the Northern Virginia Association of Realtors
FINAL THOUGHTS: See You in September!
Please remember, if you are receiving this newsletter, it is probably because at some point, I was able to help or guide or advise you with an answer to your real estate questions. Or maybe it's because we are friends, and as such, I would like to be able to help you or someone you might know to realize their real estate dreams.
Like all of my colleagues on the PJ Team, I am guided by a desire to help others learn, grow and thrive so they too might help others do the same. This is how we build a community of caring neighbors each with their own unique skills and gifts, creatively contributing to the health and happiness of the whole.
E pluribus unum - One from many.
While some members of the PJ Team may take a moment this summer for family and fun, we will as a team, make ourselves available to anyone in search of assistance with real estate questions, or help in achieving his or her real estate goals.
Whether you take time to relax and rejuvenate in the mountains, prairies, or oceans white with foam, we hope that you find and share something of value in our newsletter.
Until next time, wishing you and yours the very best in health, happiness, and wealth in all its varieties.